About Me

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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Saturday, 28 May 2022

The metropolis revisited

Apart from the poetry walk and the writing groups we run, I haven't been into the centre of Bristol much lately; in fact, going there still feels like a bit of a novelty 'post'-pandemic. 

Another reason for not going there is because it's so bloody hard to drive around the place these days, thanks to stealth bus gates trialled when everyone was in lockdown that have been subsequently made permanent. I never thought I'd need to use a sat nav to get around my native city. 

I know something needs to be done about air pollution, but I'm not sure making people drive miles further to get from A in the centre of town to B, also in the centre of town, is helpful. I guess the intention is to make using a car so stressful people give up and take public transport instead, but nothing's been done to improve the service. I actually like going on the bus - they're great places to slip into the liminal space where poems live - but my part of town is served by a bus lane, which means cars have to make a considerable detour to cross the ring road - but no buses. Well done, Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire.

One of the reasons I was in the centre of Bristol recently was to launch my new poetry collection, 'Learning Finity'. It was a small thrill to read the poem 'Fockynggrove' at the Folk House, which is built on the hill that went by that name in 1373. I don't have any photos of the evening, though - in fact, I have barely any photos of any of my book launches, and I've done six of them now. I'm always far too keyed up to think of recording the event, and everyone else is mostly getting stuck into the contents of the bar. Ah well. 

Another reason for being in town recently was for a school friend's 60th birthday tea, also at the Folk House - look at that selection of cake! I hadn't been able to park in either of my preferred car parks because they were full, and had ended up a fair walk away because there was nowhere to pull over to consult the sat nav on how to get to a nearer car park that can't be accessed via the most direct route any more. Still I did have a nice walk along the new cut. 

I also spent a morning dropping books into bookshops on the off-chance they might stock them, and rewarded myself for stepping outside my comfort zone by popping into the Arnolfini to see the exhibition of prints by Paula Rego, which didn't disappoint (although ending in a day or two). 

Baa baa black sheep

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